World War Two was won through sheer industrial might and brute force. It was the conventional warrior’s wet dream and something that will probably never be seen again (and thank God for it).
The War on Terror is something entirely different. Inasmuch lethal action has a role to play (because, as they say, “some men you just can’t reach”), non-lethal action has to be the driving force in this war. Otherwise, logic demands that you must wipe out vast swaths of population to convince them they’re wrong and we’re right (essentially the driving strategy behind WW2). ...
What's on Psyop's mind? This article -
Ahmed al-Shayea renounces terrorism:
The last time Ahmed al-Shayea was in the news, he was in the hospital at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, being treated for severe burns from the truck bomb he had driven into the Iraqi capital on Christmas Day, 2004.
Today, he says, he has changed his mind about waging jihad, or holy war, and wants other young Muslims to know it. He wants them to see his disfigured face and fingerless hands, to hear how he was tricked into driving the truck on a fatal mission, to believe his contrition over having put his family through the agony of believing he was dead.
At 22, the new Ahmed Al-Shayea is the product of a concerted Saudi government effort to counter the ideology that nurtured the 9/11 hijackers and that has lured Saudis in droves to the Iraq insurgency. ...
Ahmed concluded that “There is no jihad. We are just instruments of death.”
The trouble is that, in the Arab world, you cannot communicate with another person without referencing Islam. It is as much a part of those people’s culture and mindset as oil is a part of the ground there. And, by simply refusing to play, the Army allows the extremists to dominate the field and convince the fence-sitters that Allah commands them to go and kill Americans and those who support them. Without another opinion to listen to on the matter, the issue is pretty much decided for them.
A low literacy rate contributes to this. It is not unlike the Catholic church in Europe during the Middle Ages. Liturgy was in Latin only, as was the Bible. Because the local priest was the only man who could speak or write Latin, he could pretty much tell the people whatever he wanted and, because it was the “church” speaking, it was the truth. Burn a heretic, send your kids on a crusade, give me money… you get the idea. Imams in many of the towns and villages across the Arab world have that same power.
Convincing detainees (or EPWs or whatever you want to call them) of the wrongness of their actions can be done. This story proves it. However, it has to be done through the venue of Islam and Arab culture, not the progressive, western, Christian way of doing things.
Instead of locking ‘em up and throwing away the key, which will ultimately NOT pass a Constitutional litmus test, they could be turned and then let loose to spread their new ideology.
Meanwhile, another battle on the ideological front goes down in Britain, reports the Counterterrorism Blog:
In yet another landmark legal case in the United Kingdom regarding Internet-based terrorism, a judge in London has sentenced a group of five British-born youngsters to a total of 13 years in prison for conspiring to use the web in order to accumulate vast amounts of terrorist propaganda in hopes of eventually traveling to Pakistan and joining Al-Qaida's forces there. The convicted defendants--Mohammed Irfan Raja, Usman Malik, Aitzaz Zafar, Awaab Iqbal, and Akbar Butt--were all between the ages of 17-21 and had made contact with each other through an Internet chatroom. In explaining his decision, Judge Peter Beaumont admonished the defendants: "Each of you is British. You were born here, your families lived here, you went to school and university here, you hold British passports. You live under the protection of its laws, which give you freedom of speech and religious observance, yet each of you were prepared to break its laws. Why? Because in my judgment you were intoxicated by the extremist nature of the material each one of you collected - the songs, images and the language of violent jihad - and so carried away by that material were you that each of you crossed the line. That is exactly what the people that peddle this material want to achieve and exactly what you did... To stop them and you and to protect this country and its citizens abroad, a message has to be sent."
Speaking of messages, M. Zhuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy will be on the air in Arizona tonight. Here's the release:
M. Zuhdi Jasser, AIFD Chairman will be a guest today with William Wolf on "Middle East Radio Forum" on KKNT 960AM from 12PM-1PM PST. They will discuss Islam vs Islamists. Topics will include the controversial PBS documentary (see www.freethefilm.net ) which is set to appear locally on Channel 8 KAET on August 14, 2007 at 10 PM and other national and global issues related to the topic of Islam and Islamism.
For those outside Arizona, the program can be heard online at:
Jasser sounds a cautionary note in this NRO symposium on the apparent erosion of support for suicide terrorism in the Muslim world:
This week’s Pew study results are dangerously oversimplified. Improvements in economics and moods in the developing world are in no way reason enough for the sharp decline in support for suicide bombing. The recent 45-doctor plot in London and Glasgow told us that much. For now, it is not only too early, but downright irresponsible to have a collective sigh of relief.
As we have often seen, Pew avoids the why. In their latest report, they again ignore the most central global question: Islamism and its conflict with America and the West.
What if, in fact, the general support for the tactic of terror was decreasing simply because the Islamist enemy was beginning to achieve their ideological goals in their native countries? What if the Islamists were actually sensing a general global retreat of the uniquely American ideologies of pluralism?
Terror is only a means to the ends of political Islam. If political Islam is on the rise, doesn’t it stand to reason that apologetics for terrorism may then actually decrease?
Certainly freer markets, economic growth, and education may ultimately drive Muslim populations away from autocracy and corruption. But to where will it drive them? What alternative Muslim narratives are available in this war of ideas? With the current American mainstream-media (MSM) distractions, Islamists are free to control Arab and Muslim media alongside their dictators and monarchs and spread political Islam in the Middle East and in the West.
Our private and governmental resources have yet to hardly focus on the anti-Islamists and anti-Wahhabist Muslims. The Bush administration and MSM would similarly rather avoid any critical ideological engagement of Islamist movements around the world. Our public diplomacy has actually turned into “Islamist facilitation.”
Manifestations of Islamist fascism (i.e. terrorism) may wax and wane depending upon how threatened the Islamist ideologues are with extinction. The underlying disease — political Islam— however, will never go away without a direct ideological counter-jihad and counter-Islamism from within the faith. ...
Muslim reformer Irshad Manji is doing her part. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail conversation:
"I'm an Iraqi agnostic that lives in the UAE. I was part of an online community where everybody was free to share his ideas. Until I started talking about the Israeli-Arab conflict. I said that Arabs were making a lot of massacres, as well as the other side. I was insulted and kicked out.
After that, a lot of users asked me make another free Arab forum. The forum is now in the design phase. I have a handful of thinkers, believers and non-believers. I am now looking for Arab Israelis who can give their side. I grant full freedom of speech, providing that everything is supplied with evidence. Looking forward your help, Irshad." - The Free Arab
NOTE: Irshad put The Free Arab in touch with with another Arab dissident, who wrote this to him:
"In agreement with what you said, here are only some examples of Arab/Muslim atrocities committed against our own which we are too proud to admit:
Pakistan’s General Yahya Khan slaughtering Bengali Muslims in 1971.
Iraq’s Saddam Hussein slaughtering the Kurds and Iranians using chemical weapons.
The Taliban slaughtering Shi'a Hazaras, committing war crimes comparable to the Serbs killing the Bosnians.
Jordan’s King Hussein and Pakistan’s General Zia ul Haq slaughtering Palestinians during Black September.
Syria’s President Hafez al-Assad slaughtering 40,000 Muslims and leveling the city of Hama.
The Amman bombings of November 2005 when Zarqawi even proudly claimed responsibility for the attacks.
On-going ethnic cleansing in Darfur...
Remarks. Some men you just can't reach. But there are some people who can be reached, and that's where the real action is in this war.